Collaborative Remodeling Using a Design/Build Approach


Home remodeling can be challenging. Whether you’re adding on the sunroom you’ve dreamed of, or an in-law apartment, the process can be arduous, and unanticipated complications can crop up at any time. For homeowners hoping to streamline this process, and get the results they hope for, the design/build process can be the ideal solution.


What Is the Design/Build Process?

Typical remodeling projects may involve not only an architect, but also an engineer, a construction company, subcontractors and suppliers. It can feel as if managing your construction project has become your full-time job! The design/build process, by contrast, involves just one firm with expertise in both design and construction. They work with the client to create a design, establish a budget and a timeline, and provide the labor to get the job done. This more streamlined approach can eliminate confusion, reduce costs, and bring projects to completion faster and more efficiently.


Steps in the Remodeling Process

The design/build process begins with meetings between the client and the contractor to establish goals, set a budget, and determine what needs to happen to create the desired outcome. Next, the contractor needs to take pictures and measurements, examine the existing structure and systems, and identify any challenges that might exist.


After an initial design has been created, further meetings take place between the client, contractor and architect to evaluate and modify the plan as needed. This is the phase of the process when plans become more concrete. Choices are made, materials are chosen, and timelines are established for the project. This is where the benefits of real-time design can be felt; because the homeowner is working directly with the contractor and architect, everyone understands what the outcome should be.


Choosing a Design/Build Firm


It’s important to do your research before selecting a design/build company. When you find a firm that interests you, ask for examples of their past work, and references from other clients. Make sure you are comfortable with the individual who will be managing your project, and ask how conflicts are resolved if they arise over the course of the project.